An Innocent Question

Please know that I responded to comments on the last three posts. Sorry it took so long.

Some random 4 year old stopped me on the street today. I had Isa in the stroller.

4YO: Who are you picking up?

ME: No one.

4YO: But where are you going? Who are you picking up?

ME: I’m picking up cat food.

4YO: You don’t have a bigger kid?

ME: Nope, just this one.

4YO: Are you going to have another baby?

ME: I hope so.

4YO: You’re going to have another baby so she can be a sister?

ME: I hope so.

4YO: Another girl so they can be sisters.

(Her younger sister – a spitting image of her only smaller, in too large hand me downs –  grinders her toe into the cement behind her).

ME: I would love that. I have a sister.

4YO: Another baby so then she can be a big sister.

ME: That would be nice. I am a big sister and I like it a lot. Do you like being a big sister?

4YO: (Nods). So you’ll have another baby?

ME: Yes. I hope so. Very much.

4YO: (Looking at her dad for reassurance). Is she going to be a sister?

4YO’s DAD: She’ll either be an only child or a sister.

With tears in my eyes I walk away.

This little girl, she had no idea what she was saying. To her a little baby being pushed along in a stroller is missing something, something very dear indeed. Something worth inquiring about. Something that absolutely should be there.

For some reason this exchange saddened my deeply. Not knowing the answer to her question. Only being able to say, I hope so.

All I know is, if I can’t make this little girl a big sister, it will break my heart.

 

15 responses

  1. Oh, Esperanza, I’m sorry you were left with tears in your eyes after that conversation. Kids are cute but they can say the stupidest things sometimes (and the father wasn’t particularly sensitive, either, and he should know better! I think your answer was perfect, and I have faith that your hope will become a reality.
    Love,
    Maddy

  2. Oh kids. It’s amazing the things that they will say…and the extent to which they pick up on things. I remember, far before I truly understood the depths of hell that people struggling to have children can face, my friend’s 3 yo daughter telling someone that we knew (who desperately wanted children) how much she would like to have a little girl just like herself. She didn’t say that to anyone else present so it seemed she just *knew*.

    I’m sorry it was such an emotional experience for you but I too have faith that your hope will become a reality.

    • Thanks you for your kind words. I have no reason to think it won’t happen, I think I’m just so scared to try for another baby. So much more uncertainty and opportunity for pain. My mom’s story has scarred me so.

      How is your number two coming along? 😉 I’m so excited for you.

  3. I think that kids are actually much more emotionally intelligent than we give them credit for. I bet she knew, somehow, that you want another child. That you want Isa to be a sister.

    And yet, their reality is also so shaped by their own experience … that is, they don’t know (and sometimes can’t imagine) anything other than the arrangements they have. So we can’t fault them for assuming that the world functions in a way that makes sense to them.

    I’m sorry that you walked away with a hurt heart … perhaps she was put there in your path to give you hope?

    • Kids are incredibly emotionally intelligent; they pick on things most adults don’t see. It was strange how just walked right up and asked me that, as I was walking. She was so sure of herself. So sure I was going to get someone else. It was startling.

      I don’t know why the conversation made me sad. I have no reason to think I can’t or won’t have another baby. I’m just scared. And I’m sad we aren’t trying now, as we’d hoped we would be. I’m sad I’m scared to try again, scared of loss and scared of how it will affect our marriage. I’m just scared.

  4. I had a similar conversation with a 6 yr old not long after my 3rd miscarriage. she was playing in the public swimming pool with Munchkin ( then 21/2) munchkin was stoked to have a big kid paying attention to her. the 6 yr old was the youngest of 4 kids she openly told me that her mum couldn’t have any more babies and directly asked me if i could have more. my answer was the same as yours “I hope to one day”. but at that time with loss so raw in my heart it reduced me to tears as well. lets hope that one day infertility and loss can be discussed as openly as these kids have discussed it, with no shame attached just a question you can ask on the street.
    Sorry you had to have this experience too. my fingers are crossed for when you start TTC again.

    • Her insistence really was something. I wasn’t quite sure how to take it. She seemed genuinely worried Isa would be an only child. It was heartbreaking, as I’m sure you know. (((hugs)))

  5. Our friends used to visit with their kids, and without fail they’d always go looking from room to room for our children.
    “Mommy, where are Auntie Sarah’s kids?”
    “She doesn’t have any, sweetie.”
    Knife right to the heart…

    • I remember reading that post, or a post that described that and it was heartbreaking. I hope you can give your little man lots of siblings.

  6. Ouch. It’s amazing how kids can pick up on the one thing that is closest to your heart. Like you, I’ve been thinking a lot about siblings. I had hoped we’d move forward w/ another surrogacy in 2012, but my husband’s job situation makes that unlikely. And honestly, I’m not ready, but as an only child myself, I don’t want D to be an only child

  7. awww, so innocent and nothing more stab-inducing. Makes my heart ache for you and for me thinking if Cheeks will ever get to be a big brother. Oh, I hope they both will so, so much.

    I had a similar experience though not about baby no. two. I was nursing Cheeks in a babies r us and there was a 5 or 6 year old there with her mom and baby sister. She started in on me on questions – innocent questions – about giving birth. She was all did you give birth at home? We had a home birth. Do you give your baby a pacifier? Pacifiers are bad. It left me feeling like less of a woman because I ended up with a c-section, but clearly that wasn’t the 4 year olds intention.

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